Gravitational field has energy, E field does not?

• csmcmillion

csmcmillion

Watched a physics lecture yesterday in which the teacher stated that a G field has energy, but an E filed (due to the Coulomb force does not). This does not compute. Both fields have potential energy, yes?

Yes, that doesn't make sense. Are you sure that's what they meant?

Pengwuino said:
Yes, that doesn't make sense. Are you sure that's what they meant?

Maybe not. The exact statement was "In an ordinary sense, electric charge is not energy, but gravitational charge is energy". So maybe I am misunderstanding the statement.

Okay that clears it up. They are talking about the equivalence between mass and energy that comes out of relativity. There is no analogous equivalence for charge.

1. What is the difference between the energy of a gravitational field and an electric field?

The energy of a gravitational field is associated with the force of attraction between masses, while the energy of an electric field is associated with the force of attraction or repulsion between charges.

2. Why does the gravitational field have energy while the electric field does not?

This is because the energy of a gravitational field is proportional to the product of the masses and the distance between them, while the energy of an electric field is proportional to the product of the charges and the distance between them squared. This difference in the mathematical relationship results in the gravitational field having energy, while the electric field does not.

3. How does the energy of a gravitational field affect objects within it?

The energy of a gravitational field has a direct impact on the motion and behavior of objects within it. The greater the energy of the gravitational field, the stronger the force of attraction between objects and the faster they will accelerate towards each other.

4. Can the energy of a gravitational field be harnessed for practical use?

At this time, there is no known way to harness the energy of a gravitational field for practical use. However, scientists continue to study and research ways to potentially utilize this energy in the future.

5. How is the energy of a gravitational field calculated?

The energy of a gravitational field can be calculated using the formula E = -GmM/r, where G is the gravitational constant, m and M are the masses of the objects, and r is the distance between them. This formula is a simplified version and does not take into account other factors such as the shape and distribution of the masses.